Furnishing new office space or refitting existing offices are often prime opportunities for boosting a company’s green credentials among employees and clients, says Stuart Finnie, Head of Design at Tetris. “Yet each time a company fits out or redesigns its office space, it’s adding to its carbon footprint. The question therefore becomes how they can do it in a more sustainable way?”. Elsewhere, discarded fishing nets are being used to create a range of products from flooring to office chairs, while reclaimed wood can be used in desks and plastic bottles are enjoying a second life as tables or even cushion covers. For companies who don’t want to manage the process of buying and disposing of their own furniture, there’s the growing office furniture leasing market, with IKEA the latest to join as part of its drive towards goods that can be repaired, reused, recycled or resold. The rise of flexible office space, enabling businesses to quickly upscale or downscale, also offers opportunities to design out waste. “Modular systems allow office space to be reconfigured to meet a company’s changing needs,” says Finnie. Guidelines and legislation to help businesses design out waste, a move the UK government is considering, could make a difference in encouraging more companies to embrace sustainable office design, says Smith-Kozlowska.
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